Full List of African Nobel Prize Winners

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The Nobel Prize is an international prize awarded annually since 1901 for achievements in Physics , Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. An associated prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded since 1969. Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 800 individuals.

Full List of African Nobel Prize Winners

Africans have received awards in five of the six Nobel prize categories: Peace, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Chemistry. The first Black African recipient, Albert Luthuli, was awarded the Peace Prize in 1960 and the first White African who received the prize was Max Theiler in 1951 for Physiology or Medicine. The most recent recipient, Denis Mukwege was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2018.

Below are the full List of African Nobel Prize Winners

1. Max Theiler

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, year:1951
Achievement: First White African to win a Nobel Prize

2. Albert Camus France

Country of Birth : Algeria
Award: Nobel Prize in Literature, Year:1957
Achievement: First White African to win a Nobel Prize in Literature

3. Albert Luthuli

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize in Peace, Year: 1960
Achievement: First Black African to win a Nobel Prize

4. Anwar El Sadat

Country of Birth : Egypt
Award: Nobel Prize for Peace, Year:1978
Achievement: First Egyptian and North African to win a Nobel Prize

5. Allan M. Cormack

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize in physiology or Medicine, Year: 1979

6. Aaron Klug

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Year: 1982

7. Desmond Tutu

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize for Peace, Year: 1984
Achievement: Second black South African to win a Nobel Prize for peace

8. Claude Simon France

Country of Birth : Madagascar
Award: Nobel Prize in Literature, Year: 1985
Achievement: First White African to win a Nobel Prize in Literature

9. Wole Soyinka

Country of Birth : Nigeria
Award: Nobel Prize in Literature, Year: 1986
Achievement: First Black African person to win the Nobel Prize for Literature

10. Naguib Mahfouz

Country of Birth : Egypt
Award: Nobel Prize in Literature, Year: 1988
Achievement: First Egyptian and North African to win a Nobel Prize in Literature

11. Nadine Gordimer

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize for Peace, Year: 1991
Achievement: First White African woman to win a Nobel Prize

12. Nelson Mandela

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize for peace, Year: 1992

13. F. W. de Klerk SA

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize for Peace, Year: 1993

14. Claude Cohen-Tannoudji

Country of Birth : Algeria
Award: Nobel Prize in Literature, Year: 1997

15. Ahmed Zewail

Country of Birth : Egypt
Award: Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Year: 1999
Achievement: First Egyptian and North African to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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16. Kofi Annan

Country of Birth : Ghana
Award: Nobel Prize for Peace, Year: 2001

17. Sydney Brenner

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize in Physiology or medicine, Year: 2002

18. J. M. Coetzee

Country of Birth : South Africa
Award: Nobel Prize in Literature, Year: 2003

19. Wangari Maathai

Country of Birth : Kenya
Award: Nobel Prize in Literature, Year: 2004
Achievement: First black African woman to win a Nobel Prize

20. Mohamed ElBaradei

Country of Birth : Egypt
Award: Nobel Prize for Peace, Year: 2005

On 7 October 2005, ElBaradei and the IAEA were announced as joint recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for their “efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy, for peaceful purposes, is used in the safest possible way.”

21. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Country of Birth : Liberia
Award: Nobel Prize for Peace, Year: 2011
Achievement: First Liberian to win a noble prize

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In 2011, Sirleaf was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen. The three women were recognized “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.

22. Leymah Gbowee

Country of Birth : Liberia
Award: Nobel Prize for Peace, Year: 2011

Leymah Roberta Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist responsible for leading a women’s nonviolent peace movement, Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Her efforts to end the war, along with her collaborator Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, helped usher in a period of peace and enabled a free election in 2005 that Sirleaf won. She, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman, were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

23. Denis Mukwege

Country of Birth : Democratic Republic of the Congo
Award: Nobel Prize for Peace, Year: 2018

Denis Mukwege is a Congolese gynecologist. He founded and works in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been raped by armed rebels. He has treated thousands of women who were victims of rape since the Second Congo War, some of them more than once, performing up to ten operations a day during his 18-hour working days. According to The Globe and Mail, Mukwege is “likely the world’s leading expert on repairing injuries of rape”.



Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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